It’s Cheaper to Own Than Rent a Home in These 27 Cities, Study Finds

Find out where you can save money by buying a home.

If you’re currently renting because you don’t think you can afford a home in your city, you might be surprised — in many major U.S. cities, it’s actually cheaper to pay for a mortgage than to pay rent for a single-family home, a new GOBankingRates study found.

GOBankingRates determined the cost of renting versus owning a single-family residence in 50 American cities by looking at how rent prices compared to estimated mortgage payments based on median home list prices. In 27 of the cities — more than half of those included in the study — it’s less expensive to buy a home than to rent one.

Keep reading to find out if you should rent or buy a home in these 50 cities.

Cities Where Owning Is Cheaper Than Renting

The five cities where you’ll save the most by owning rather than renting are Baltimore, Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Arlington, Texas. In all of those cities, you’ll save $373 or more each month by paying for a mortgage rather than renting, on average.

The top five cities where it’s cheaper to own are geographically spread out — though it is worth noting that two are in Ohio — but none are located in the West.

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Here’s the full list of major cities where it’s cheaper to own than to rent:

  1. Albuquerque, N.M.
  2. Arlington, Texas
  3. Baltimore
  4. Baton Rouge, La.
  5. Cleveland
  6. Columbus, Ohio
  7. El Paso, Texas
  8. Fort Worth, Texas
  9. Fresno, Calif.
  10. Indianapolis
  11. Jacksonville, Fla.
  12. Las Vegas
  13. Memphis, Tenn.
  14. Mesa, Ariz.
  15. Miami
  16. Milwaukee
  17. Minneapolis
  18. Oklahoma City
  19. Omaha, Neb.
  20. Philadelphia
  21. Phoenix
  22. Sacramento, Calif.
  23. San Antonio
  24. Tucson, Ariz.
  25. Tulsa, Okla.
  26. Virginia Beach, Va.
  27. Washington, D.C.

Interestingly, the five cities with the biggest cost differences between renting and owning are all places where it’s cheaper to rent: New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., Seattle and Honolulu. In New York — the city with the largest price difference between the two — renters save an average of $1,566 each month compared to those who are making mortgage payments.

Click on the graphic below to learn more about the cost to rent vs. owning a home across America:


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Take a look at the full list of all 50 cities included in the study, ranked from biggest cost difference between renting and owning to least:

The Cost of Renting vs. Owning a Home in 50 U.S. Cities
CityStateMonthly Rent Monthly Mortgage Median List Price What’s Cheaper?By How Much?
New YorkNY $2,500$4,066$799,000Renting $1,566
San FranciscoCA $4,500$5,736$1,195,000Renting $1,236
San JoseCA $3,500$4,735$984,000Renting $1,235
SeattleWA $2,800$3,553$725,950Renting $753
HonoluluHI $2,700$3,265$639,000Renting $565
OaklandCA $2,800$3,315$649,000Renting $515
BaltimoreMD $1,300$792$149,500Owning $508
ColumbusOH $1,307.50$847$159,250Owning $460.50
ClevelandOH $850$417$69,700Owning $433
PhiladelphiaPA $1,400$979$198,000Owning $421
ArlingtonTX $1,550$1,177$229,000Owning $373
Long BeachCA $2,447.50$2,817$549,450Renting $369.50
MemphisTN $850$508$86,000Owning $342
San DiegoCA $2,950$3,292$679,900Renting $342
MilwaukeeWI $997$670$120,000Owning $327
RaleighNC $1,400$1,727$347,248Renting $327
PortlandOR $1,950$2,266$459,900Renting $316
DallasTX $1,650$1,943$399,000Renting $293
BostonMA $3,400$3,689$749,000Renting $289
Fort WorthTX $1,550$1,290$246,925Owning $260
MinneapolisMN $1,695$1,447$288,640Owning $248
WashingtonDC $2,995$2,755$559,900Owning $240
El PasoTX $1,100$866$162,950Owning $234
MiamiFL $2,500$2,276$462,000Owning $224
IndianapolisIN $995$793$149,900Owning $202
Baton RougeLA $1,300$1,107$214,650Owning $193
JacksonvilleFL $1,200$1,011$204,900Owning $189
AustinTX $1,695$1,853$389,000Renting $158
TucsonAZ $1,200$1,049$202,500Owning $151
AlbuquerqueNM $1,250$1,124$218,000Owning $126
New OrleansLA $1,465$1,587$320,000Renting $122
OmahaNE $1,300$1,182$229,950Owning $118
DenverCO $2,300$2,396$485,000Renting $96
CharlotteNC $1,435$1,527$298,900Renting $92
San AntonioTX $1,250$1,160$229,500Owning $90
TulsaOK $950$861$163,740Owning $89
Los AngelesCA $3,750$3,838$779,000Renting $88
Colorado SpringsCO $1,555$1,640$329,000Renting $85
MesaAZ $1,400$1,325$259,000Owning $75
FresnoCA $1,395$1,339$265,000Owning $56
AtlantaGA $1,585$1,640$329,000Renting $55
SacramentoCA $1,680$1,629$319,000Owning $51
PhoenixAZ $1,410$1,360$275,000Owning $50
Las VegasNV $1,450$1,407$285,000Owning $43
HoustonTX $1,575$1,612$329,950Renting $37
NashvilleTN $1,655$1,692$339,900Renting $37
ChicagoIL $1,512$1,548$315,000Renting $36
Oklahoma CityOK $995$963$184,900Owning $32
Kansas CityMO $957.50$983$189,000Renting $25.50
Virginia BeachVA $1,472.50$1,453$289,900Owning $19.50

Click through to read more about the cost of living in the city versus suburbs across America.

More on Rent and Budgeting

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cost of renting versus owning a home in 50 cities across the U.S. by comparing single-family residence monthly rental prices and the monthly mortgage price based on the median listing price in every city, sourced from Zillow. GOBankingRates calculated the estimated monthly mortgage based on a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year fixed-rate loan.